A simple way to speed up a defrag operation in Windows XP is to restart the system before you launch Defrag. This allows the operating system to clear out the swap/paging file and reset it to the default size. This lets Defrag focus strictly on the necessary data on the hard disk, without having to stop and manage a huge swap file loaded with unneeded data.
Another approach to speeding up a defrag operation in Windows XP is to configure them to occur immediately upon startup. Fortunately, you can do so easily with a simple registry edit. Follow these steps:
- Launch the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce.
- Right-click the RunOncesubkey and select New | String Value.
- Name the value Defrag and press [Enter] twice.
- Type Defrag.exe c: /f in the Value Data text box, and click OK.
- Close the Registry Editor and restart Windows.
The defrag operation will begin when you type in your password and press [Enter]. (Keep in mind that values added to the RunOnce key are removed immediately after the command has been run.)
Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Professional editions.